photo Assemblyman Cusick:
2008 state
budget report



2008Ė2009
budget comes through for S.I.

photo

Dear Neighbor,

Despite an uncertain economic climate and an unexpected change in power in the governorís office, I helped pass a state budget that delivers for Staten Island. The right choices were made for our children, families and seniors. We made important investments in education, health care, local projects and tax relief.

As always, I want to hear from you about your wants and needs from Albany. Please contact my office at 370-1384 if you have any concerns, questions or ideas. By keeping the lines of communication open, I can better do my job in the state Assembly.

Sincerely,
signature
Michael J. Cusick
Member of Assembly


Keeping the commitment to our schools

Assemblyman Cusick kept his promise to Staten Islandís children by backing a budget that follows through on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, delivering a $644 million increase for New York City schools. This will ensure our schools have the resources they need to provide our children with the best education possible.

Keeping a college education within reach

Assemblyman Cusick worked to ensure The College of Staten Island will receive over $20.4 million in capital funding for three projects. This plan will not only improve the campus and increase learning opportunities for students, it will also provide benefits to the entire community. The budget also:

  • Includes no tuition hikes at SUNY and CUNY

  • Restores $15.4 million to the Tuition Assistance Program

  • Provides veterans returning from combat with a tuition grant, which can be used at any public or private university in the state

Providing reliable health care

Providing affordable, reliable health care is a necessity. Thatís why Assemblyman Cusick worked to secure:

  • $5 million in state assistance for Richmond University Medical Center

He also fought for a budget that:

  • Fully funds the expansion of the Child Health Plus insurance program, which will provide all children with access to affordable health care at no cost to the city

  • Supports a program ensuring seniors can continue to receive their medications without facing unnecessary obstacles

  • Creates a discount drug card for New Yorkers ages 50-64 and for the disabled


Easing the tax burden

Assemblyman Cusick helped ease the tax burden by:

  • Preserving the STAR property tax rebate program and increasing Enhanced STAR

  • Securing $131 in STAR rebates for the typical Staten Island middle-class family, and an increase from $103 to $144 for Staten Island seniors

  • Working to ensure the enacted budget included $1.1 billion in relief for New York City residents paying personal income taxes

Funding for key Staten Island projects that will expand the Islandís potential and better meet the needs of its residents, include:

  • The Institute for Basic Research, which will take a leadership role in helping families affected by autism

  • Staten Island Mental Health Society

  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center




Now that the budget is finalized I would like to hear feedback from you. How do you feel the budget process went? Are you pleased with the end result? Are there any outstanding issues youíd like to see addressed before the end of session?
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